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Sept. 23, 2021

Ep. 53: Jamestown Cannibalism - America's First Horror

Jamestown, Virginia was the first successful English settlement in North America (for the first UNsuccessful one, go check out our episode on Roanoke) - but it came close to failing completely many, many times. The worst of these failures being the...


Jamestown, Virginia was the first successful English settlement in North America (for the first UNsuccessful one, go check out our episode on Roanoke) - but it came close to failing completely many, many times. The worst of these failures being the tragic Starving Time.

Plagued by a deadly combination of famine, disease, and an enemy Native tribe, the Starving Time in winter 1609-1610 almost wiped out the entire colony, leaving only 60 survivors from the original group of 500. And some of these desperate survivors were forced to commit one of the most horrific acts imaginable to live...cannibalism.

In 2012 archaeological proof was finally discovered that confirmed what some historians had suspected all along: the Jamestown survivors ate their fellow man during the Starving Time. This week, we take a trip back in time to this deadly winter, and debate if we'd be able to make these terrible choices ourselves.

We also have a super-sized news segment this episode with 2 stories on True Crime Time: the second part of the strange saga of South Carolina's blue-blooded Murdaugh family, and the tragic disappearance and murder of Gabby Petito - a case that is still unfolding as we record.
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Transcript

This week’s episode is a bit of a follow up to our 6th episode, the Lost Colony of Roanoke. In that episode we explored the first attempt by the English to establish a colony in North America, at Roanoke Virginia, and the entire colony’s mysterious disappearance. We also mentioned the colony of Jamestown, which ended up making good on that attempt and becoming the first permanent English settlement in America. In this episode, we’ll discuss how the early days in Jamestown were possibly just as perilous as the final days in Roanoke - and how these desperate times led to some of the most desperate measures one could ever consider.

First, because you know me - some backstory.

Sir Walter Raleigh had been charged by Queen Elizabeth the first to establish a settlement in North America, and he tried twice to send colonies to the Roanoke Virginia area, which ended with colony leader John White being the only survivor after leaving Roanoke for several years to try and bring back much-needed supplies from England. By the early 1600s, England was gearing up to try again - and this is where the Jamestown colony came in.

The Virginia Company of London, or the London Company, sent an expedition to establish a settlement within the existing Virginia Colony in December 1606. By this point, Queen Elizabeth had died and been succeeded by King James, her Scottish cousin. James likely saw the promise in the new land and wanted to achieve success where Elizabeth couldn’t, so approved the expedition, led by 3 ships - the largest, Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. The ships left London with 105 men and boys and 39 crewmembers.

In April 1607 the ships reached the Spanish colony of Puerto Rico and loaded up on provisions for the rest of their journey. Later that month they reached the southern edge of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay having only lost one passenger of the original 105 during the long voyage. 

Unfortunately for the colonists, it was a bad time to be settling the New World. Dennis Blanton, director of the Centre for Archaeological Research at the College of William and Mary, told National Parks magazine that "If the English had tried to find a worse time to launch their settlement in the New World, they could not have done so. The Jamestown settlement was plagued by the driest seven-year episode in 770 years." And in this 770 years, the drought was most severe during the settlement years at Jamestown...and a couple decades before, at Roanoke.

Interestingly, the drama started almost immediately after landing in Virginia. During the voyage, Captain John Smith - the same one we know from Pocahontas, in very fictionalized form - was charged with mutiny. Smith had been incarcerated for the rest of the trip, and scheduled to be hanged upon reaching their destination. But after reaching Virginia, the men opened the sealed orders sent to them from the Virginia Company of London...which named John Smith as a member of the governing council. D’oh! He was freed by ship captain Newport and they all headed out to seek an inland site for their settlement, also in accordance with the orders. They sailed around the Bay and upstream along the James River and eventually chose what would be known as Jamestown Island for their settlement. Both the river and the town were named, of course, for King James.

The island had excellent visibility up and down the James River and was far enough inland to minimize the potential of contact with enemy ships. The water around the island was deep enough to anchor the ships, but they could still easily depart if necessary. The island ALSO wasn’t currently occupied by the Virginia Indians, mostly affiliated with the Powhatan Confederacy, another group many know from Pocahontas. 

After they found their home base, the initial fort was constructed. Many of the original settlers were upper-class gentlemen not well suited to manual labor - kind of like the first Roanoke group. I guess they didn’t really learn a ton from those mistakes. The settlers were attacked less than 2 weeks after their arrival by Paspahegh Indians, who killed one man and wounded eleven more. In late June, Captain Newport sailed back to London on the Susan Constant with a load of pyrite - which unfortunately was fool’s gold, which they thought was precious - and other supposedly precious minerals, leaving behind the 103 surviving colonists. Those colonists were beginning to find that the reason the island hadn’t been occupied was because of its swampy nature and limited hunting, along with a marshy area that was infested with malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Drinking the contaminated waters caused deaths from saltwater poisoning and dysentery, and eventually 135 settlers would die from these issues. Newport came to and from the colony twice within the next year and a half to bring more supplies. The First Supply mission brought insufficient provisions but another 70 colonists. Shortly after this, the fort burned down and had to be rebuilt. In October 1608 the Second Supply mission arrived with 70 MORE settlers, including the wife of Thomas Forrest Esquire and Anne Burras, her maid. These two women were the first known to have come to the Jamestown Colony. Also included in the Second Supply were some of the first non-English settlers due to active recruitment of skilled craftsman and industry specialists that the colony desperately needed. Apparently, trying to start a colony solely with a bunch of rich dudes wasn’t cutting the mustard!

John Smith continued to explore the area around the Chesapeake Bay and got into some hot water with the Powhatan Indians, was captured, and a whole drama unfolded that was the basis for Pocahontas but was heavily, heavily changed from reality. He did make it back in 1608 and wrote about his experiences as well as his explorations. The Virginia Company of London was beginning to get frustrated that they weren’t reaping rich rewards from the settling of the New World as of yet, but did end up sending the Third Supply mission in June 1609. This was by far the most well-equipped supply so far, with a fleet of 8 ships led by Captain Newport. Unfortunately, by the time the much-delayed Third Supply would arrive in Jamestown, the settlers there had encountered what would become America’s first horror: The Starving Time, and the main subject of this episode.

The colonists had never planned to grow all of their own food. What they HAD planned on doing was depending on trade with the local Native tribes to supply them with enough food between the periodic arrivals of supply ships from England, which would also bring food with them. So already, not a great planning strategy. But then in 1609 a drought began which caused their already limited farming activities to produce even less crops than usual. They’d been counting on the Third Supply, which was delayed due to a major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean and the flagship was shipwrecked at Bermuda, separated from the other ships. Eventually the other seven ships of the Third Supply did arrive, but most of the food and supplies were on the large flagship...which wasn’t with them. So, Jamestown got an influx of 7 ships worth of new colonists, and barely any extra food to help their already strained supplies. This would be a perfect storm for, well, The Starving Time. Compounding this issue was that John Smith had gotten injured in August 1609 and had to return to England for medical attention in October. Smith was now an ally of the Powhatan Indians and had been negotiating trades for food - after his departure, Chief Powhatan severely curtailed the trade, and even used the prospect of trading for corn to betray an expedition led by Smith’s successor John Ratcliffe, who was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. The Natives, understandably so, had had their own struggles with the drought that year, and they weren’t exactly feeling charitable to those taking over their lands. So things were already grim when the winter set in in late 1609. 

And they were only getting grimmer...which we’ll find out, after the break.


{BREAK}


Winter 1609 to 1610. A drought has left the Jamestown settlers, numbering around 500 now, with much less crops than even their meager expectations had allowed. John Smith was forced to return to England for emergency injury treatment, which cut off valuable trade with the Powhatan tribe. 7 of 8 of the Third Supply ships had arrived from England bringing little more than a ton of additional mouths to feed. And now, being winter, there was little hope in growing more for the months ahead.

There’s not a ton of written testimony about the Starving Time, mostly because people were either actively dying or spending all their time trying desperately NOT to do so, but here’s what we know, partially from “A True Relation” on the events of the Starving Time by the Colony’s leader in Smith’s absence, George Percy. 

Percy wrote that “Indians killed as fast without the fort, as famine and pestilence did within.” Powhatan had directed his tribesmen to plunder any colonists or livestock found outside the fort, but even so, by the time the hunger desperation had begun, some colonists had started wandering the woods looking for snakes or roots or literally anything they could eat. Often this ended with their deaths anyway, usually at the hands of the local Natives.

Inside the fort they were doing anything they could to survive. They ate the leather from their own boots, much like in the case of the Donner Party a couple hundred years later. They ate the 7 horses owned by the Colony, and then, sadly, any pets - dogs, cats. Then mice and squirrels and other small wild animals. They were doing literally everything they could, but even these desperate rations were running out.

So, some of them...began to eat each other.

Percy wrote that some “Licked up the blood which had fallen from their wak fellows,” and others had resorted to digging up “dead corpses out of graves” to butcher for meat. Most of the accounts of cannibalism at Jamestown are like this - starving colonists digging up the bodies of those who had starved or died of disease or at the hands of the Powhatan Indians and mining them for food. 

Except for one account.

Colonists later told a story of a man who had killed his pregnant wife with the explicit intent of eating her. Later leader of the colony Thomas Gates said that the man had taken great care to butcher his wife and salt the meat to preserve it, and John Smith later jokingly, I guess, wrote that “Whether she was better roasted, boiled, or carbonado’d I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.”

There was a man who was convicted of this act, said to have killed his wife not out of desperate hunger but out of hate for her. While on trial, he said that she had died of natural causes and he’d merely kept her body tucked away for later snacking when things got dire. But he was found guilty and, well, burned alive.

Still, for a long time historians believed that the claims of cannibalism at Jamestown were fabricated, dramatized. Cannibalism has always been taboo, and perhaps it was something far too awful for even scholars to consider. But it makes sense - these were truly, truly desperate times. And in these situations, sometimes it’s seen that as long as you’re cannibalizing a corpse rather than killing someone for their meat, it’s somewhat more acceptable. That seems to be what the colonists did, aside from, possibly, the aforementioned terrible husband. 

Up until 2012 the common assumption remained that the reports of cannibalism were greatly exaggerated. But then, we found evidence. 

The remains of a 14-year-old girl, nicknamed Jane, were found in the area of a 1608 James Fort cellar during an archaeological dig. These remains included a mutilated skull and a severed leg bone, and were discovered alongside butchered animal bones and other food discarded by the colonists during the Starving Time, like a butchered horse and dogs.

It was determined by Dr. Douglas Owsley, chief forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, that the skull had undergone multiple blows and slices from at least 3 different sharp-edged metal implements. Owsley stated that these cut and chop marks were made during a concerted effort to separated soft tissue and brain matter from bone. “They were clearly interested in cheek meat, muscles of the face, tongue, and brain,” he said. Jane’s hair was not removed.

The remains underwent months of testing, all of which confirmed the conclusion that Jane’s body was a clear victim of cannibalism, the first evidence of survival cannibalism at any early European colony in North America. This was big news! So big in fact that the Smithsonian Institution along with Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia released a public statement to confirm it. 

Jane had likely come with the Third Supply ships, and examination of her remains indicated that she was about 14, a woman, and had consumed a European diet of wheat and meat originating from the southern coast of England. 

It’s uncertain who Jane was, or her status - due to her diet and isotope testing, she may have been from a high-status family or one of their servants. It’s also uncertain WHO had eaten Jane. It’s believed that she wasn’t murdered for her, well, meat, but was one of the cannibalized corpses described by George Percy. Owsley stated that the cutting had not been done by an experienced butcher except, possibly, chops to the shinbone. “There is a hesitancy, trial, and tentativeness in the marks that is not seen in animal butchery.” The butcher themselves might have even been a woman, as they had begun to outnumber the men as the Starving Time went on. Owsley also feels the cuts on Jane were done postmortem. There are no other indications that might lean toward her being killed, and considering that settlers were dying of famine and disease left and right, there likely would’ve been no need. Unfortunately, fresh corpses were in high supply, and though we don’t know how Jane died, it’s likely it was due to one of those two factors. No matter how she died, ending up in the equivalent of a 17th century dumpster is a horrible way to be sent into the afterlife.

In 1610 a small crew of settlers escaped Jamestown on a ship called The Swallow and arrived in England in spring 1610 to tell those there about the cannibalism. Many couldn’t believe it. 

On Bermuda, throughout much of this time, we still had the occupants of the shipwrecked flagship, the Sea Venture, trying to figure out how the hell to either get home or to Jamestown. Bermuda hadn’t been discovered before this time, so of course England claimed it. I mean, a shipwreck isn’t the INTENDED way of discovering new land, but it works. Over the course of a few months the survivors of the wreck built two smaller ships from Bermuda cedar and salvage from the Sea Venture, called Deliverance and Patience - very apt - and left for Jamestown. Don’t worry, though, they left two men behind to maintain England’s claim on Bermuda.

The ships, led by Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, assumed they’d find a thriving colony once they finally reached Virginia’s shores. Instead, they found an emaciated ghost town.

Only 60 of the 500 pre-winter settlers had survived.

The colony was in ruins, practically abandoned. Most of the few dozen remaining colonists were sick or dying, and the Deliverance and Patience had only carried with them a small food supply, with most of the other supplies having been lost in the wreck. The Jamestown colonists must’ve been like ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? AGAIN??

The decision was made to abandon Jamestown. On June 7th 1610 everyone was placed aboard the ships to return to England, and they began to sail down the James River. But then, a small miracle.

In April 1610 Lord De La Warr - origin of the name of Delawere - had left for the settlement 6 months after the siege and starvation had begun. Interest in the land had increased with the arrival of the desperate colonists and with the popularization of the writings of John Smith. 3 ships were in De La Warr’s fleet, carrying additional colonists, a doctor, food, and supplies. They arrived on the James River on June 9th, JUST in time to intercept the Deliverance and the Patience 10 miles downstream from Jamestown near Mulberry Island, now a massive Army Base called Fort Eustis. De La Warr, as the new governor, forced the escaping ships to return to the abandoned colony. I think he probably felt that the failure of Jamestown wasn’t going to happen on what was technically his watch. This decision wasn’t popular, but they complied. Eventually, a young Englishman named John Rolfe who had arrived from the Bermuda wreck and began to experiment with the seeds of the native tobacco from Virginia. Using his handmade sweeter strains, Rolfe became the first to commercially cultivate tobacco plants in North America in 1611, with the export of the sweet tobacco beginning in 1612 helping turn the Virginia Colony into a profitable venture and a new leader in the export biz. In 1614 Rolfe married Chief Powhatan’s daughter, the Native American princess Pocahontas, who had converted to Christianity and taken the name Rebecca. They had a son, Thomas, which reinstated peace between the Powhatans and European settlements, and through which most of the First Families of Virginia almost 400 years later can trace back their lineage, to both the Native Americans and the English-born Jamestown settlers.

The rest, as they say, was history.

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NEWS

We had a shorter than usual main episode today because we have two big news stories to cover, so let’s get to it during this supersized edition of True Crime Time!

From last week, we complete our dissection of the Murdaugh Family murders and, well, saga. The Murdaugh family is a South Carolina legal dynasty with many powerful ties in the area, thanks to their recognition dating back to Murdaugh’s great-grandfather through father all serving as the top prosecutors in the region from 1910 through 2006. We left off last week with a series of very unfortunate events: son Paul Murdaugh boating under the influence and causing the death of a 19 year old girl in 2019, patriarch Alex Murdaugh finding his wife Margaret and Paul shot outside of their home in an apparent murder in June of this year, the death of Alex’s father Randolph Murdaugh the III, Alex’s resignation from his law firm and then his shooting by a roadside early this month. Alex survived, pledged to enter rehab, and many mysteries still abounded around the mysterious deaths, the strange shooting, and how all of it could relate to other unsolved murders in the Hampton County, South Carolina area.

But wait, there’s more.

Alex Murdaugh admitted to police last Monday that he had planned his own assassination. As he was able to, y’know, admit this, it clearly didn’t go the way he had expected.

Murdaugh told investigators that he asked former client Curtis Edward Smith, 61, to kill him so that his surviving son, Buster, could collect a $10 million life insurance payment upon his death. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, Smith only left Murdaugh with a superficial gunshot wound to the head (yes apparently those DO exist!) and a lot of suspicion. 

Smith was arrested and charged with assisted suicide, aggravated assault and battery, and insurance fraud in connection with the September 4th shooting. Smith admitted to being at the scene and getting rid of the gun, though it’s not clear at this point if he has a lawyer. 

Murdaugh, for his part, has not been charged, but family lawyer Dick Harpootlian, also a South Carolina State Senator said on NBC’s Today show that he did expect Murdaugh to be charged with a crime, though emphasized that Alex had nothing to do with the killing of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh. Apparently, Murdaugh had concocted the murder plan after trying to stop abusing oxycodone and suffering from massive depression, something understandable after the murders of two of your close family members. Murdaugh had wrongly believed that Buster would not receive any life insurance payout if he died of suicide, so he asked Smith to take care of it. Smith was also, apparently, Murdaugh’s oxy dealer, and had allegedly misused millions of dollars of the PMPED law firm money to pay for painkillers.

We mentioned last episode that the unsolved case of the murder of Stephen Smith was reopened in connection to the Murdaugh investigation. Now another case has been reopened, too. In 2018, Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield had died in their home due to what was attributed in court documents as a “trip and fall” accident. However, Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper said the death was never reported to her office, and no autopsy was conducted. It seems all of the Murdaugh drama has stirred up this accident again, because lawyers representing Satterfield’s sons came forward to say they had not received any of the $505,000 settlement their previous lawyer had reached with Alex Murdaugh after Gloria’s death.

In that case, the trip and fall explanation was used for Satterfield’s death, but Coroner Topper found that the death had been listed as “natural” on Satterfield’s death certificate, which is inconsistent with an accidental fall. Also, one of the lawyers for the Sattersfield children had apparently been close to Alex Murdaugh, which was not disclosed to them before the trial. Ronnie Richter, one of the new Sattersfield lawyers, said in an interview that he had not expected the state police to open a criminal investigation, but he was glad Ms. Satterfield’s death was getting a deeper look. “I can’t recall a case that required sunlight more than this one,” he said. “Wherever it comes from, it’s a good thing.”

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this bizarre series of events!

And now, on to the other huge crime story this week...that of the tragic disappearance and death of 22 year old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. If you’ve checked in with the news or watched TV or even have been on TikTok this week, you’ve seen Gabby’s case all over every channel. Unfortunately, it hasn’t ended the way that the Petito family and the whole country would’ve hoped...and hasn’t really ended at all. 

In June 2021 Gabby and her fiance of one year Brian Laundrie left on a cross-country road trip in Petito’s white Ford van from Blue Point in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, an area I know of as about halfway between my college and where my family has stayed in the summers, and most everyone else would know as the location of Blue Point Brewing Company. Gabby and Brian, 23, had been visiting her family for her brother’s high school graduation, and left Blue Point around July 4th for their road trip, intending to visit state and national parks across the western United States. Gabby, a content creator, posted many pictures and videos from the trip until her disappearance, showing them stopping in places like Monument Rocks in Kansas, Colorado Springs and the Great Sand Dunes, and Zion National Park in Utah. She posted from Canyonlands National Park on July 31st and then didn’t post again for 12 days, unusual for her routine on this trip. On August 12th she returned to Instagram to post pictures from the Arches National Park in Utah, but on the same day she was also encountered by a police officer called to reports of disorderly conduct. 

A 911 call had come in saying that while driving by the white van with the Florida plates, the driver had spotted a man slapping a girl, I think possibly while standing outside while the car was parked at the side of the road. The driver stopped, the couple ran up and down the sidewalk, the man hit the young woman, they hopped in the car, and drove off. When police arrive it can be seen on the officer’s body camera that the white van is parked by the side of the road, and he approaches and confirms the names of Brian Laundrie, who was driving, and Gabby Petito. The two were described as having gotten into a physical fight following an argument. 

Brian told police that Gabby had gotten frustrated after trying to start a blog for hours, and he got into the van with dirty feet. At that point the couple had apparently gotten into a fight. Gabby can be seen tearfully explaining her anxiety and OCD to officers, while Brian asks police not to press charges and says everything is fine. Police have them separate for the night, taking Brian to a hotel and giving Gabby the keys to the van. Officer Daniel Robbins wrote in his report, "After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis,” and no charges were filed.

The next day Brian posts pictures on Instagram from the Arches and Moab, and a week after the police altercation Gabby posts once more with a picture of her and Brian inside the van, though it’s unclear where they were. On this day, August 19th, she also posts her first and only Youtube video for her blog, showing the couple’s relationship and travels. On August 25th she posts her final Instagram post, a photo of her in front of a butterfly mural north of Salt Lake City Utah, holding a knit pumpkin with the joking caption, “Happy Halloween”. This is around the same time that Petito’s family told police they had last been in contact with Gabby. Before the last communication, she was believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

On August 27th, a video was taken by Jen Bathune in Teton County of a white van with Florida plates parked in some overgrowth at the side of the road. August 27th is also the date of the last texts between Petito and her mother that the family believes were genuinely from Petito. They ended with a message from Gabby reading, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.” Stan is what Gabby called her grandfather, but the message left Gabby’s mother with some concern, as she felt it was odd. 

On August 29th, Miranda Baker and her boyfriend claimed to have picked up Brian Laundrie in the early evening as he was hitchhiking in Colter Bay, Wyoming. She stated this in September, by the way, on TikTok - don’t worry, after she reported the incident to police. Laundrie apparently had told them he’d been camping at a site outside Grand Teton National Park, alone. Baker didn’t realize who the hitchhiker was until seeing videos of him on social media later. Once Laundrie found out Baker and her boyfriend were going to Jackson Hole instead of Jackson, he got agitated, asked that the vehicle stop, and got out near the Jackson Dam. 

On August 30th the Petito family received their last text from Gabby’s phone, though they doubt she wrote the text herself. The message read, “No service in Yosemite.”

On September 1st, Brian arrived back in the couple’s town of North Port, Florida, with the white van - but without Gabby. She’s reported missing by her parents on Long Island on September 11th, with the van being processed for evidence by police that same day. Laundrie refused to talk to police or the FBI, and on the 15th he was officially named a person of interest in Gabby’s missing persons investigation, with the investigators searching the Laundrie home. The Laundries finally speak to police on September 17th, but without Brian. That’s because they had to report he was missing, claiming they had last seen him Tuesday the 14th. He said he was going to the county park called the Carlton Reserve, and there were several searches for Brian in the area, but no discoveries were made. Searches were also underway in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the last place Gabby was known to be.

Then, on Sunday the 19th, a tragic breakthrough. Law enforcement found a body in Grand Teton that they believed to be Gabby. Autopsy results confirmed soon after that the remains were of Gabby Petito, with Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruling the manner of death to be a homicide in his preliminary findings. The cause of death is still pending the final autopsy results. Petito’s remains were found in an undeveloped camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest on the eastern edge of Grand Teton National Park. Laundrie, for his part, still remains missing at the time of this recording. His parents were escorted by law enforcement from their home yesterday, September 20th, and due to some of their stories not really adding up, it may result in obstruction of justice charges for members of the Laundrie family.

Over the last week especially, social media has been in a frenzy hypothesizing on Gabby’s disappearance and assumed - then confirmed - murder. It’s certainly gotten a little grotesque, like entertainment. In relaying the facts of the case to you today, we wanted to be able to give our listeners the timeline of events without all of the theories and commentary, as this case is still so current and painful for the families and loved ones involved. We hope that Gabby and her family find justice, and answers will be found. When they hopefully are, we’ll be sure to let you all know. Rest in peace, Gabby.

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END

That’s it for this episode of Ain’t It Scary with Sean and Carrie! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @aintitscary, and check out our website at aintitscary.com. You can support the show by supporting our sponsors, and becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/aintitscary. And please, subscribe to the show and throw us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts...we’ll be forever grateful. Don’t forget to screenshot your 5-star reviews and share with us on social media for your chance to win a gift straight from us!

This week we wanted to give a special shout out to one of our favorite shows and friends of the podcast, TRUE CRIME CAMPFIRE! True Crime Campfire is hosted by Katie and Whitney, who roast murderers and marshmallows around their storytelling campfire. In season 1 they took a deep dive into the case of The Puppet Master and the Prince of Darkness, a season-long exploration of the most bizarre murder case you’ve never heard of. In season two they expanded to covering a different true crime story every week, mixing meticulous research with comic relief and seamless storytelling into one delicious s’more of a crime podcast! Recent episodes include an interview with Debra Newell, whose life with John Meehan inspired the podcast and miniseries Dirty John, and the 2017 disappearance and murder of Martre Coles. You can find TRUE CRIME CAMPFIRE, just like us, wherever you get your podcasts and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @TrueCrimeCampfire and @TCCampfire! 

Special thanks to our beloved patrons, Nate Curtiss, Sean O’Donnell, Jared Chamberlin, Maria Ferrante, Robin McCabe, ComfyMike, Aleks Nakutis, Ryan Regan, and Kristi Atchison!

See you next Thursday! 

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